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The success of ECW led to the founding of a number of other "hardcore" and "deathmatch" wrestling federations, and no less an organization than the WWF followed their lead. WCW tried to foster a backlash to this, painting themselves as a "family-friendly" wrestling show, but they soon jumped on the bandwagon after that posture failed. After all, how "family-friendly" can a show about people beating the snot out of each other be?
Before that, after the arrival of Hulk Hogan, from 1994-1996, WCW revamped themselves into "WWF Lite", until the arrival of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. And the rest is history... Before that, WCW head booker Jim Herd decided to try and mimic the WWF's success with the "Rock 'n Wrestling Connection" by tying WCW to another aspect of pop culture — namely, movies. Fortunately, he dropped that idea after the first shots, a wrestler based on The Wizard of Oz and a Pay-Per-View appearance by RoboCop, failed miserably, but it wasn't Herd's first bad idea, and definitely not his last.
When it started in 2002, TNA was an alternative to WWE, until over the years, they became "WWE Lite".
Naturally with the success of the New World Order every fed in the universe even your local mom and pop indy needed to have a stable trying to take over the company. One of the nWo's first imitations, D-Generation X, was also one that was the least like it. Let that sink in.
Every fed including the mom and pop indy also needs to do an evil scheming authority figure whose sole reason for existing seems to be making life miserable for the babyface du jour. Naturally said babyface is almost always a badass nineties anti hero.
In the Attitude Era of the late 90s the likes of The Rock and Stone Cold popularised the anti-hero in wrestling storylines so that for a good while it wasn't just faces vs heels, it was more like heels that got booed vs heels that got cheered.
This trend actually has its roots in the late 1970s, when "Superstar" Billy Graham defeated the then-perennially popular Bruno Sammartino for the WWE Championship and held onto the title for the better part of a year. While Graham remained a heel during his first title run and wasn't necessarily cheered by the audience, he was a lot more charismatic and amusing than most of WWE's faces at the time, proving that wrestling heels could do a lot more than just anger the crowd and make the faces look good. Not only did Graham eventually turn face, but his costume and gimmick were more or less copied by Hulk Hogan and other famous wrestlers, and his Lovable Rogue persona was a profound influence on Eddie Guerrero - whom Graham personally admired - and others.
It may be hard - even all but impossible - to believe now, but as recently as the 1980s the women of WWE were a lot more prim and proper than their male counterparts, especially when it came to the costumes they wore; when Miss Elizabeth, Randy "Macho Man" Savage's manager, whipped off her skirt at the inaugural SummerSlam in 1988, resulting in a (modest by current standards) Panty Shot, it was huge news. The attempt to revive their women's division started with putting the belt on respected wrestler Jacqueline but with the success of Sunny and Sable, two hot blonde bombshells that were pure T&A, WWE began bringing in more women to feature in spreads in their magazines such as Debra, Ivory, Tori and Trish Stratus-simply lucking out that some of them were or would become respected wrestlers. Thus the WWE Divas were born.
Chyna was presented as an anti-diva who competed with the men and won the Intercontinental title three times. Over the next few years there was a lot more emphasis on talent over looks in women's wrestling in wrestlers such as Lita, Molly Holly and Jazz being pushed to the top of the division. Trish Stratus as well who started out as eye candy but worked to improve her wrestling and did so to the point Vince was able to make her the face of the division for several years.
The whole Diva Search/making models into wrestlers initiative from WWE that followed said golden era for the Divas was actually a result of Trish's success at taking levels in badass.
TNA began creating PPV events centered around specific gimmick matches (eg. "Lockdown" a PPV that had all cage matches on the card) so WWE started releasing gimmick PPVs such as "Extreme Rules" (every match is a different gimmick match), "TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs" (featured a ladder match, table match, chair match and TLC match among others) and "Night of Champions" (every title is on the line).
This arguably started years earlier with WCW and their annual Uncensored PPV. Like Extreme Rules, every match on the card had a gimmick. TNA cannot take credit for originality here.
In 2008, John Morrison and The Miz debuted an online talk show on WWE.com known as The Dirt Sheet. This program was instrumental in getting the tag team over and showcasing their personalities, and also generated quite a few hits on the site. Within weeks, other online shows started appearing from the likes of Cryme Tyme, Matt Striker, and Colt Cabana Scotty Goldman. The only one that lasted longer than a couple weeks was Cryme Tyme's Word Up, which resulted in a feud between the two tag teams.
And in 2011, lightning struck again, as the success of Zack Ryder's Youtube series, Z! True Long Island Story, led to a number of other underutilized wrestlers starting their own Youtube accounts, including Ryder's former tag-team partner, Curt Hawkins.
Since Shawn Michaels became the massive legend that he is after breaking off from his partner Marty Jannetty, it seems the main purpose of a tag team sometimes is to find out which member will become a mega star and which one, well…won't. WWE alone has tried this so many times to varying results in the years since the Rockers that two or three people would be necessary for enough hands and fingers to count them all.